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Cambridge voters go to the polls today to vote for members of the City Council, the School Committee, and on two referenda.
The first referendum concerns the seventeen teaching appointments made last December by Mayor Edward J. Sullivan and his "independents."
The controversy over these appointments has become the hottest issue in Cambridge politics in many years, since opposition to them was formed by Judson T. Shaplin '42, associate dean of the School of Education, in conjunction with the Cambridge Civic Association.
"There is a strong ground swell for Referendum One; I think it will carry seven or eight to one," Dean Shaplin declared last night. "The Referendum on proportional representation will be very close, but I think we will win because of the heavy feelings on the first one." The CCA has fought for retention of PR.
Heavy Vote Predicted
Shaplin also predicted that the vote would be heavy. As evidence of the interest in the election he cited yesterday afternoon's Mother's March in which 40,000 flyers were distributed asking for a negative vote on Referendum One. "I think that the CCA will win four of the six seats on the School Committee and that Mrs. Catherine Ogden and I will be re-elected," he said.
Eight of the nine Councilmen are running for re-election, the exception being Hyman Pill, who is retiring. Councilor Charles Watson predicted that all eight would be re-elected and that Mrs. Cornelia B. Wheeler would be elected to fill Pill's seat. Alfred Vellucci said flatly, "I will be re-elected in a landslide."
Eric Hansen, Executive Secretary of the CCA, declared that the CCA would win a majority in both the School Committee and the Council, and thereby be able to elect a mayor. He commented "Two years ago 35 votes would have elected us another Council member. We'll get more than that this time. We'll also win both Referenda, but we'll have a close fight." In recent elections, however, the CCA has not attained a majority in either body.
Hansen based some of his confidence on the surprise release of a flyer yesterday afternoon by Anthony Flynn and his Committee for the Preservation of Democracy. "This smear on the CCA shows how desperate Mayor Sullivan is," he said. The flyer claims that "The CCA is trying to destroy one of America's finest school systems."
Alan Steinert, campaign manager for the CCA, called the flyer "A routine illegality of the sort one would expect from the opposition. A last minute desperate try, ridiculous on its face and not worth a reply."
Dean Shaplin said that he heartily agreed with Steinert and that "This kind of scurrilous attack is useless. Cambridge voters are smarter than that. The men publishing the flyer are working in a dark room; they seem ashamed to let the public know what they are doing."
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